Child is greater than wealth. This is what the Igbos always say. A man who do not have children like Nigeria has failed. So men struggle to give birth to children, preferably more of make children than female. According to them, females will grow up, get married and change to their husbands name. A man needs children (male child) to carry out his name.
I laugh whenever I hear this, hold on. The world has changed and you don’t need anyone to carry your name on, you need to make your own name. It’s funny that those who keep screaming about needing children to carry out their name don’t even have anything to offer the children. You don’t hear Bill Gates shouting about needing children to carry out his name, he has already made a name for himself. You don’t hear Obama who has only two female children get upset about looking for children to carry on his name, he has made a name for himself.
No offence, but someone with nothing to their names, someone who has nothing to offer the children is looking for a large family. A lot of them love large families, and give birth to great number of children they obviously cannot cater for.
I love stories, so I will tell you a story. Few days ago,my father said he was going to the village to pay condolence to one of his relative who lost a wife while to childbirth.I felt sorry for the family.
The next day he came home bearing with him tales of how a woman full of life lost her life due to childbirth. Hear me out. This woman has 11 children already from 10 pregnancies (one is a twin). Yes you heard me right.
The truth is that people here give birth to a good number of children. One of my friends went for a burial at one of the villages here in Ebonyi and came back with tales of a woman who gave birth to 14 children and was pregnant with the 15th one. We love large family, children that will help in farm work.
So according to my father, after she gave birth to the last child, a doctor (let’s say her gynecologist) had warned her against given birth to another child as it would mean risking her life. Her husband wouldn’t budge. He wanted more children and from her. She advised him to marry another woman but no he refused. She even left to her father’s house and came back.
Soon enough, she became pregnant. Late into the pregnancy, she went for antenatal, the doctor had told her that the child is not positioned well and they need to perform sugery. The husband asked why they would operate on a woman whose labour had not started.
When the issue got worse and they brought the woman, it was already late and the woman died. Imagine a life this woman had ahead of her. Dear young woman, nothing is more important than your life, not children, not money. But this is not what I’m here to talk about.
I think it’s time the campaign against giving birth to children one cannot train be carried to rural areas. Birth control and family planning is what they also need to be taught. Most of them don’t like the idea of condom (for those who know what it is). Shebi O Chinenyenwa (it’s God that give children), they keep giving birth till God knows when.
What becomes of these children? Let’s use this family as example. The man already has 11 children, of course he is going to get married again to a “fertile” woman. They will give birth to more children. What becomes of the dead woman’s children ? Who will cater for them if the woman probably turns their father’s heart away? What if she ends up maltreating them? Okay, What if she is nice to them? Still, how will that farmer take care of those children and give them the adequate things they need in life? They will probably attend the government built community schools in the village. Some of them won’t. Will the man be able to train any of them who wants to further till university level?
This is not to shade my people. Some of the men train their children but the percentage cannot be compared to that of those who don’t. Visit the rural areas you will see children subjected to all sorts of life which they shouldn’t be living at such age. One day, I was speaking to a seminarian who did his apostolic work in one of the rural areas. He taught in a school while there. He narrated how he met this family of 9 children with only one clothe. One person will wear it on Monday, the others will come naked and barefooted, another will wear on Tuesday, the others will come naked and barefooted, the cycle continues.
Personally, I think every child should be allowed to have a good childhood, attend school, be comfortable. No child deserves to loss his childhood.
So dear friend,
Tell your neighbour who have given birth to six children and still wants more,
Tell your neighbour who sends his or her children out to hawk, exposing them to dangers of abuse, rape, kidnapping and accidents,
Tell your neighbour who feels that children (who didn’t beg to be born) should be grateful that they are given birth to,
Tell your neighbour who said he needs many children to help in the farm work, that children are not farm machine,
Tell your neighbour that children are not greater than money, tell them that money is important, as important as children. Tell them that there should be a balance, they should strike a balance between children and money.
Tell them to give birth to a number of children they can cater for. Children are humans. Children deserve the best life. Children deserve to be happy. Children should not hawk. Children should not engage in labour early in life. Children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood. Children needs access to education. Children don’t deserve to be left wandering in the streets. Children should not be send out as maids because their parents can’t take care of them.
The funny thing is that we say call children angels but when they grow up to become what the society or environment turns them to, we forget that there were once the angels we saw in human form.
So here is to them;
To all the children who have walked the streets hungry and homeless,
To all the children who are product of a broken home, who fight the demons in their head trying to break free,
To all the children who have been raped or sexually abused,
To all the children who are born into families of unprepared parents,
To all the children who daily walk the street with wares, hawking to support a family they didn’t approve to be born in.
To all the children whose dreams and aspirations have been shattered by the society.
May you be healed. May you grow up to have a better future. May you have more opportunities.
May God protect you.
Children are Children.
Money is Money.
Children need money to be comfortable.
Belated Happy Children’s Day!